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Shop Exhaust Made From PVC Pipe
Thanks for the story on the shop exhaust system I made from PVC pipe (Vol. 26, No. 5). It involves heating plastic to 280 degrees in an oven until the plastic becomes soft, then bending or flattening it to the desired shape. I used this same technique to make a walker for my 6-year-old grand daughter who has cerebral palsy. The 41-in. high walker helps her learn to balance so that maybe one day she'll be able to walk. I heated the walker's four PVC uprights to get the exact angle that I needed.
  The walker rides on four caster wheels and has a square "holding bar" at the top which my grand daughter holds onto as she walks. The holding bar supports a cradle which she can sit on whenever she gets tired. Commerical walkers sell for up to $1,500 and don't provide any place to sit.
  I enjoyed reading the story in your last issue on a home-built "dumbwaiter" that a Vermont couple use to bring wood up to the fireplace in their living room. I built a similar system about three years ago. The upper end of the dumbwaiter shaft runs into a built-in cabinet that's adjacent to the fireplace in our living room. There's a door in the cabinet, and another door in the basement. I built metal tracks for a plywood box that measures 15 in. wide by 23 in. deep by 24 in. high. The box has its own door. There are three wheels on each side of the box and they roll up and down the track. The dumbwaiter is raised and lowered with a screw-drive garage door opener. The motor mounts below the box in the basement and the jackscrew runs up the back of the elevator shaft.
  To provide counterbalance for the dumbwaiter, I attached a 60-lb. weight to the box with a steel cable over pulleys at the top of the elevator shaft. For safety, I wired the dumbwaiter so that all three doors must be closed before the elevator can be operated. (Steve May, 41464 Ratcliff Dr., Prairieville, La. 70769 ph 225 622-2246)

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #6